This incident happened a few years ago.

And yet, it still brings me warmth and joyful feeling everytime I remember it... Just one reason to share to you... Several months ago, I was asked to report to the Guidance Counselor of my children's school due to an incident involving my 14 year old daughter. I was told that she and two of her classmates engaged in a verbal fight with another classmate. But I soon found out that my daughter was not really involved but was just a witness to a slapping incident of her closest friend, which she tried to break up. (To be clear about itLthough, I am not a very strict parent. But I am also not one who lets my kids run away with murder. When my children do misbehave, I let the school authorities reprimand them and apply the best penalty.) Anyways, the girls who attacked each other were once very closed. In fact, there were many occasions when they were together in our house all giggly, apparently having a swell time. The friendship was shattered as I found later on because of some malicious and intriguing gossips and worse - envy. The girls were relentless in accusing each other of betraying each other's trust and confidence. I also heard them based their anger on unconfirmed rumours. As I sat there with the other parents, I was reminded of how our children mirror our way of thinking. Each child spoke of being misunderstood, of being unheard, of being distrustful, and of being afraid. While watching and listening to the drama unfolding, it suddenly dawned on me the same fear I was experiencing before. The fear of being rejected, of being judged and being alone. My reverie was cut-off when my daughter suddenly apologized to everyone in the room (including me) of how she must have hurt other people's feelings. She was very emotional and couldn't stop crying while the rest of the girls were dry-eyed and raising their eyebrows. I asked why she was crying when it wasn't her fault. She said in a quavering voice, "It's because I'm aware of the change that's going to happen. And I'm sad because I wasn't ready for the breakup of our group. And I feel miserable knowing I've hurt somebody with my words. I should have listened to you, mommy, I could have been more compassionate...I could have saved our friendships by stopping the rumor but I did not and I'm afraid it's too late..I could have been more mature in my actions but I did not...I acted irresponsibly... I'm sorry..." Her answer astounded me. Honestly, I did not "expect" that my 14 yr old would be as bold and as courageous in accepting her role in the creation of the problem. Without blaming anyone but herself, she allowed herself to become truthful. Knowing how stubborn her personality was, and how she hates being in the center of it all, it was a revelation. I stood up and embraced her almost choking with my own words. I told her it was alright, that she is already forgiven. Her teachers gently pacified her. I have never been more proud standing there in the middle of the room. Later that night, my daughter and I had a very long talk about what happened and what might happen in school. She told me about her fears, about her wishes and her dreams. She confided to me her confusion of why she felt different from the other girls. She noticed she is more serious about life and so felt a little out of place. I learned that she would rather be alone and read a book than to listen to girls talk about boys or crushes. And this made some of her friends uneasy. She asked me why she becomes very emotional at times and would cry at a drop of a pin. I explained to her that this is because she is ALIVE, that she sees, and feels, and smells and hears and understands life as it is. That she is emphatical and feels compassion. That she is a very gifted person with a wonderful soul. I could see the light shining in her eyes as she intently listens to me. I shivered... knowing her spirit is there willing and ready to learn, to know and understand.

Her spirit deeply moved me. Soon she fell asleep on my lap. It was very rare that she cuddled up to me like that since becoming a "woman". I felt her fears ebbing away as she sleep. My spirit was uplifted. I was very happy. We both recently watched on tv the movie "Phenomenon", where John Travolta starred in. It was a very appropriate film for my daughter to see. Now because of the movie, she somehow understands what fears are. And why people behave the way they do when they are afraid. She realized how some people could become victims of their own ignorance and fears. She learned about love and the value of the human spirit. When John's (Travolta) doctor announced that he has brain tumor, we were holding each other tight. We laughed and cried together while watching the film. Our spirits soared when John was at peace. We fell in love when John fell. We cheered on as John escaped from the harshness and absurdity of his captors. And our hopes went high before the movie ended. It was good. I am happy to confess that I learned more about courage and honesty and being authentic in the weeks that passed from my daughter. I am glad that her soul chose to be with me in this lifetime. I am grateful for the opportunity of knowing her. The time our personality spent hating each other, contradicting each other does not matter anymore. It only showed us that we could be on our way to selfdiscovery. And as we seek ourselves, our journey together could be one long, joyous roller-coaster ride... There will be highs, there will be lows... But there will be forever love as we witness our human spirit touching and caring for each other and the rest of the human soul... I am forever grateful for the experience... Let me ask you, do you seek to know the human spirit? Look in the eyes of a child. The answer lies in there, within their soul. Note: My daughter is now on her way to college life. I am not anxious about her becoming more independent each day, but I am truly proud...

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